83
drank Sakura Sencha by Den's Tea
2245 tasting notes

Ok, figured I should get going on trying my samples from Den’s Tea before my $3 off coupon expires!

I wasn’t in the mood for a straight green, so was eyeing up the genmaicha w/matcha until I noticed this one! Yes! Yum, fruity green tea. That’s what I want.

I’m not exactly sure how this one will turn out though – as I was waiting for the water to cool to 180F, I noticed that it indicated the volume of water should be 3oz. Three?! I probably have 10 or so in my cup! So I made a quick decision to split it in half, and infuse one, then the other. Soooo we’ll see. The teaball was an inappropriate choice due to water volume, as it turned out, because it wasn’t even fully covered… oh well.

The dry tea smells mostly like tart cherries. Yum.

First infusion (179F/1min):
The aroma is slightly sweet, and a little cherry-tart. Weak, but smells delicious. Woah. Hmm. How to describe the flavour. There’s a bit of cherry sweetness, but not much, and there’s a definite slightly seaweedy green tea flavour. Drat – I drank some oolong before this and just realized that the flavour is lingering in my mouth too much. Time for some Malted ChocoMate (?) Great, now I have malty goodness lingering in my mouth. Sencha Pear? Ok, that was probably the best choice. Now to wait out the lingering pear flavour.

Ok! Back to the tea. Oh yes, flavours much clearer now. A nice sencha base with just a hint of floral, tart-ish cherry. Really lovely, actually. I thought I wasn’t a big sencha fan (probably because it has usually been bitter or astringent for me), but this is neither, and quite tasty. Ok, my taste buds are getting confused. I’m tasting oolong aftertaste again. Maybe I’m getting it confused with green tea aftertaste? Maybe they are one and the same!? Ack!

Second infusion (180F/2min):
A bit more cherry here, and definitely more astringency than I’d like, but no bitterness. Should have gone with another 1 minute infusion, I think, not 2 minutes. I really like how subtle the cherry flavour is. I was expecting it to be more overpowering, but its probably much better just being light and subtle. I feel like this tea has at least 1-2 more good infusions to give me (but I think I’ll drop the time back to 1.5 minutes).

ETA: Third infusion
Light cherry flavour, but I can’t really taste the green tea anymore :( I think I used too much water, in part, and I may have worn it out with the last infusion. I must remember that greens can’t be re-steeped as much as oolongs (IIRC). Oh well!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Lynne-tea

This post made me search for more tea companies I have not heard of… resulting in two new tea orders …oh my o.O (sorry wallet)

Azzrian

Lynne-Tea if you ordered from Den’s you should be delighted! :)

Lynne-tea

I didn’t go with Den’s, but I did get lots from Life In A Teacup, and Teavivre! Both were so well rated for their teas and such astounding prices I couldn’t say no to so many tasty oolongs that I so love. I will absolutely have to try Den’s next time I allow myself to go on another ordering spree!

Azzrian

Oh yes and BOTH of those are also excellent choices! :) Haha I too am an Oolong fan! I think you will be happy with your teas and I totally understand about having to hold back on the sprees! At least ONE more day just ONE more day hahaha

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Lynne-tea

This post made me search for more tea companies I have not heard of… resulting in two new tea orders …oh my o.O (sorry wallet)

Azzrian

Lynne-Tea if you ordered from Den’s you should be delighted! :)

Lynne-tea

I didn’t go with Den’s, but I did get lots from Life In A Teacup, and Teavivre! Both were so well rated for their teas and such astounding prices I couldn’t say no to so many tasty oolongs that I so love. I will absolutely have to try Den’s next time I allow myself to go on another ordering spree!

Azzrian

Oh yes and BOTH of those are also excellent choices! :) Haha I too am an Oolong fan! I think you will be happy with your teas and I totally understand about having to hold back on the sprees! At least ONE more day just ONE more day hahaha

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I have always been a tea fan (primarily herbals and Japanese greens/oolongs) but in the last year or so, tea has become increasingly more appealing as not only a delicious, calming drink, but as a relatively cheap, healthy reward or treat to give myself when I deserve something. I should clarify that, however; the reward is expanding my tea cupboard, not drinking tea – I place no restrictions on myself in terms of drinking anything from my cupboard as that would defeat my many goals!

My DavidsTea addiction was born in late 2011, despite having spent nearly a year intentionally avoiding their local mall location (but apparently it was just avoiding the inevitable!). I seem to have some desire to try every tea they’ve ever had, so much of my stash is from there, although I’ve recently branched out and ordered from numerous other companies.

I like to try and drink all my teas unaltered, as one of the main reasons I’m drinking tea other than for the flavour is to be healthy and increase my water intake without adding too many calories! I’ve found that the trick in this regard is to be very careful about steeping time, as most teas are quite pleasant to drink straight as long as they haven’t been oversteeped. However, I tend to be forgetful (particularly at work) when I don’t set a timer, resulting in a few horrors (The Earl’s Garden is not so pleasant after, say, 7+ minutes of steeping).

I’m currently trying to figure out which types of teas are my favourites. Herbals are no longer at the top; oolongs have thoroughly taken over that spot, with greens a reasonably close second. My preference is for straight versions of both, but I do love a good flavoured oolong (flavoured greens are really hit or miss for me). Herbals I do love iced/cold-brewed, but I drink few routinely (Mulberry Magic from DavidsTea being a notable exception). I’m learning to like straight black teas thanks to the chocolatey, malty, delicious Laoshan Black from Verdant Tea, and malty, caramelly flavoured blacks work for me, but I’m pretty picky about anything with astringency. Lately I’ve found red rooibos to be rather medicinal, which I dislike, but green rooibos and honeybush blends are tolerable. I haven’t explored pu’erh, mate, or guayasa a great deal (although I have a few options in my cupboard).

I’ve decided to institute a rating system so my ratings will be more consistent. Following the smiley/frowny faces Steepster gives us:

100: This tea is amazing and I will go out of my way to keep it in stock.

85-99: My core collection (or a tea that would be, if I was allowing myself to restock everything!) Teas I get cravings for, and drink often.

75-84: Good but not amazing; I might keep these in stock sparingly depending on current preferences.

67-74: Not bad, I’ll happily finish what I have but probably won’t ever buy it again as there’s likely something rated more highly that I prefer.

51-66: Drinkable and maybe has some aspect that I like, but not really worth picking up again.

34-50: Not for me, but I can see why others might like it. I’ll make it through the cup and maybe experiment with the rest to get rid of it.

0-33: It’s a struggle to get through the cup, if I do at all. I will not willingly consume this one again, and will attempt to get rid of the rest of the tea if I have any left.

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